Video: Reason’s Nanny of the Month

posted at 2:05 pm on December 5, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

I missed Reason TV’s latest Nanny of the Month when they published it last week, but it’s worth a look.  After a years-long spate of cases involving teachers who sexually exploit their students — which would be illegal when the students are underage anyway — a Michigan legislator decided to expand the law to make consensual sex between teachers and adult students a felony as well, punishable by up to 15 years in prison:

This month’s nannies include drug warriors who are hyping fears about “digital” drugs (i.e. not actual physical substances) and fat warriors who are using a talking plate (introducing Mandometer!) to pester chubby folks into eat properly.

But this month’s top dishonors go to the Wolverine State pol whose so-called “Hot for Teacher” bill could end up criminalizing sex between consenting adults of legal age.

Huh?  Since Lawrence v Texas, there is very little basis for regulating consensual sex between unrelated adults, as long as there is no commercial element (prostitution).  While a school district could certainly enforce employment policies that forbid such fraternization and terminate teachers who violate such policies (to the extent that schools can actually fire teachers at all), making this kind of contact a felony and presumably assigning sex-offender status to the participant is patently absurd.  States set ages of legal consent for a reason, which is that the law presumes not to interfere with personal choices made at ages where the state feels an individual has enough maturity to make those decisions for themselves.  If the age of consent is the issue, then raise it, but criminalizing consensual, non-commercial sexual relations between unrelated adults — especially at a level of a felony — is unsupportable.

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Maybe we should propose a bill that a politician having sex with a constituent is a felony? Or does that hit a little too close to home?

Meric1837 on December 5, 2011 at 2:13 PM

His heart’s in the right place. Just tryin’ to do a little extra, is all.

a capella on December 5, 2011 at 2:14 PM

To me the issue isn’t so much the ages when they actually have sex, but the age of the student when the relationship began. I’ve known of several instances when the sex occurred after graduation when the student was of age, but the student had known the teacher from an early age. In my mind such teachers are predatory, and are,in fact, grooming their victims and waiting for them to reach legal status to side step statutory rape charges. I don’t think most parents will appreciate little Johnny’s ninth grade math teacher giving him all kinds of extra attention, when the motivation is to sleep with him 3 or 4 years down the road.

teacherman on December 5, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Maybe we should propose a bill that a politician having sex with a constituent is a felony?

They have been porking us for years. when did that become illegal?

flyoverland on December 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Maybe we should propose a bill that a politician having sex with a constituent is a felony? Or does that hit a little too close to home?

Meric1837 on December 5, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Actually not a bad idea. Since the politicians in the federal government have been screwing us for decades, it would be the only way we could clean out the entire cesspool and start over.

TulsAmerican on December 5, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Maybe we should propose a bill that a politician having sex with a constituent is a felony?

They have been porking us for years. when did that become illegal?

flyoverland on December 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Whoa – so it has been for money!

tomg51 on December 5, 2011 at 2:26 PM

I know this is off topic but I’m perplexed.

Why are the R’s in Congress playing the D’s game re the payroll tax cut extension?

Why aren’t the R’s shouting to the rooftops over and over and over and over that this takes money out of the SS trust fund and Medicare?!?!?!?

Why isn’t anyone asking the question: If your Soc Sec benefits are dependent on the amount you’ve paid into the system over the your lifetime of work, how does this ‘holiday’ affect your future benefits?!?!?!?

If the press is so eager to ignore the R’s viewpoint and go along with the D’s attacking R’s for wanting to ‘raise taxes’ why doesn’t the press accuse the R’s of supporting the ‘holiday’ in the first place in order to WEAKEN SOC SEC so it MUST BE reformed?

Why are we at hotair not even discussing this issue?!?!?!?

MaggiePoo on December 5, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Not felonius, but you can’t tell me that it would have no influence on the grade, and as a result hurt everyone elses grades however small.

AnotherOpinion on December 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Maybe we should propose a bill that a politician having sex with a constituent is a felony?

They have been porking us for years. when did that become illegal?

flyoverland on December 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM

The socialists in the national Democratic Party make it legal with votes bought with your tax dollars – and you’re a racist for not liking it BTW.

Chip on December 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM

Shouldn’t be a felony but the teacher should lose their job and the student should lose all academic credits for the year.

sharrukin on December 5, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Once the Left realizes this new law will apply to higher education…

… this guy that wrote the legislation will never be heard from again.

Seven Percent Solution on December 5, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Why aren’t the R’s shouting to the rooftops over and over and over and over that this takes money out of the SS trust fund and Medicare?!?!?!?

Why isn’t anyone asking the question: If your Soc Sec benefits are dependent on the amount you’ve paid into the system over the your lifetime of work, how does this ‘holiday’ affect your future benefits?!?!?!?

If the press is so eager to ignore the R’s viewpoint and go along with the D’s attacking R’s for wanting to ‘raise taxes’ why doesn’t the press accuse the R’s of supporting the ‘holiday’ in the first place in order to WEAKEN SOC SEC so it MUST BE reformed?

Why are we at hotair not even discussing this issue?!?!?!?

MaggiePoo on December 5, 2011 at 2:29 PM

It’s just another form of wealth redistribution.

Sad to say, this is price we pay in liberty for a Media that no longer holds governmental power in check and in fact works in conjunction with that power.

The socialist national media has fostered a simplistic ‘middle class tax cuts’ narrative that they have “Conveniently” turned into just another spread the wealth scam.

The GOP should be out there explaining why this isn’t a good idea.

They ought to be out there explaining the extreme danger of a majority of the population living off the earnings of a minority of the population.

An ever shrinking minority and an ever growing majority.

Chip on December 5, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Teacher’s pet better learn to suck up to the warden if they know what’s good for them.

Lily on December 5, 2011 at 2:54 PM

This is an excuse to throw Newt in jail. He was a history teacher, but Callista was over 18…

Steve Z on December 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Grooming them for 4-5-6 years? I don’t know about the rest of you but, back in the day and before I was married, there was NO WAY I was grooming anybody for anything THAT long! Not interested? Next! Too young? Next! (I’m just sayin’)

Deckard on December 5, 2011 at 3:16 PM

While a school district could certainly enforce employment policies that forbid such fraternization and terminate teachers who violate such policies (to the extent that schools can actually fire teachers at all), making this kind of contact a felony and presumably assigning sex-offender status to the participant is patently absurd.

I think you fail to recognize that the State of Michigan controls most of the schools. I think a felony charge for a sexual act between two consenting of age adults is stupid. But the age of consent in Michigan is 16. So a law that requires the immediate termination and the loss of accreditation for a teacher found to be schtupping a student is not unreasonable.

NotCoach on December 5, 2011 at 3:22 PM

deckard @ 3:16

Congrats on not being a pervert, but they’re out there, and they do groom their victims.

teacherman on December 5, 2011 at 3:22 PM

I’ll say it again – where were all these hot teachers when I was in school? That’s why this wasn’t an issue in the 70s. Most of my teachers were a bunch of battle ax-wielding old hags who were way beyond their prime.

RMCS_USN on December 5, 2011 at 3:26 PM

teacherman on December 5, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Dang! I was always taught that patience was a virtue…. is nothing sacred any more?

Deckard on December 5, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I had a college teacher who fell for the teacher’s pet she-wolf. Next year he was gone. The whispers on the street back then that he had been caught and the college strongly disapproved. That seems to me the way to handle the adult situation. Not a 15 year term in jail. What next, will we have congresspeople going to jail for bedding eager, young, beautiful aides? Heck, congresspeople already can do insider trading on stocks that would send anyone else to federal jail for years.

SC.Charlie on December 5, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Can’t say I share Reason’s opinion here. Adult or not, the student teacher relationship carries many of the same problems a relationship between an adult and a 15-year-old has. The teacher is in a position of power over the student, and that doesn’t change when the student turns 18 or 16 (whatever the age of consent is).

Maybe making it illegal is too far (though, we’re seriously saying the teacher who waits until the kid’s sweet 16 is legally OK, but the guy who didn’t should serve a decade or so in jail?), but we’re primarily talking about government employees here who work at institutions our children are forced by law to attend (which seems like a much greater violation), and rather than trust each individual school to make sure that its employees aren’t using their job to hook up with immature but legally adult students, I personally would want something in law that applies to all of them considering their track record is worse than Catholic priests.

And really, when has it ever been OK for a teacher to date a current student? Even in college most professors will at least lose their job over it.

Esthier on December 5, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Dang, that was the only thing that made being a TA in grad school bearable.

SPCOlympics on December 5, 2011 at 4:35 PM

This whole things (like most topics in our culture) was very well treated in an episode of South Park.

Tzetzes on December 5, 2011 at 4:36 PM

Of course, no female teacher will ever be charged under this law. Only male teachers. Ironic, considering that it is usually female teachers who are screwing their students. And under-aged ones at that.

keep the change on December 5, 2011 at 4:51 PM

teacherman on December 5, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Dang! I was always taught that patience was a virtue…. is nothing sacred any more?

Deckard on December 5, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Is a virtue still a virtue when it’s in pursuit of a vice?

/Deep thought

And really, when has it ever been OK for a teacher to date a current student? Even in college most professors will at least lose their job over it.

Esthier on December 5, 2011 at 3:57 PM

This makes sense to me. A teacher dating a student or any other unprofessional relationship is definitely an ethics violation, and for good reason. I’ll agree though that a felony seems like overkill.

It may be appropriate in some cases to charge it as a misdemeanor.

didymus on December 5, 2011 at 5:14 PM

This makes sense to me. A teacher dating a student or any other unprofessional relationship is definitely an ethics violation, and for good reason. I’ll agree though that a felony seems like overkill.

It may be appropriate in some cases to charge it as a misdemeanor.

didymus on December 5, 2011 at 5:14 PM

A misdemeanor for dating an adult??

The most that should happen is that they lose their jobs for ethics violation.

V-rod on December 5, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Classic story:

Late night, cop investigates the vehicle parked in lovers’ lane .. finds a youngish girl sitting politely in the back seat, and an older male in the front.
Cop inquires ” Is she 18 ?”
Fellow looks up from his Car-&-Driver & says ” In about 8 minutes, yeah.”

Works better if you can speak hillbilly
/.

CaveatEmpty on December 5, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Once the Left realizes this new law will apply to higher education…

… this guy that wrote the legislation will never be heard from again.

Seven Percent Solution on December 5, 2011 at 2:38 PM

That was my first thought, as well.

listens2glenn on December 5, 2011 at 7:05 PM

CaveatEmpty on December 5, 2011 at 5:54 PM

At first I laughed at this, then it hit me: “wait a second, that’s not so funny.”
Then again I thought, “Yeah it is.”
Still again, “No it isn’t.”

“Is!”

“Isn’t.”

“Is!”

“Isn’t.”

“Is!”

“Isn’t.”

. . . . . . . If I ever arrive at a conclusion, I’ll let you know.

listens2glenn on December 5, 2011 at 7:14 PM

We had a recent case in Texas with a female teacher and a male student that had gone on for a couple of years.The parents were asked if their son was somehow traumatized.The answer was only because the boy was upset that it had to end.

docflash on December 5, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Huh? Since Lawrence v Texas, there is very little basis for regulating consensual sex between unrelated adults, as long as there is no commercial element (prostitution).

I had some smart aleck comment to write about this, but thought better of it…

RedSoxNation on December 6, 2011 at 5:07 AM